Money Doesn’t Have to Come from the Same Sources You Lost It To
I learned this from Tim Ferris. A few years ago, I bought a car without a title. I paid $4,000 for it and when I when to sell it I couldn’t get more than $1,000 for it. The market price was $3,700, but nobody was willing to pay that much for a car without a title. I wasted three entire weeks trying to get the title for the car. I didn’t want to lose money by selling my car for $1,000. The problem with this line of thinking is that at that moment, I was making about $2,500 per week and because I couldn’t work during the three weeks I spent trying to get my title, I lost a lot more than $1,000.
We make this exact same mistake all the time. We can’t accept a loss. But, we should look at all your revenue streams as a unit and decide where your time is better invested. If you have to lose $1,000 on something to make $2,000 somewhere else, so be it. When I shared this concept with a client of mine last month, she realized that since she was making $50 per hour and hiring someone to clean her house would only cost her $15 per hour, she had to stop cleaning her house and hire someone else to do it.
Eating Left-Overs Is a Great Way to Get Started
I work with an HR consultant who has been in the corporate world for over 20 years and now decided to open her own firm. She ended her relationship with her previous company on excellent terms. The company she used to work for works with companies in the $5M-$20M range, so I told my client to ask this company to send the smaller clients her way. Smaller doesn’t mean worse. She did this and now gets a steady flow of clients without having to do much marketing work. Is there any way you can approach the big fish in your industry and take care of the clients they don’t want to serve?
If You Explain the Why and They Can Figure Out the How, You’re Working with the Right People
Smart people can figure things out if they understand they outcome you expect and why you need what you need. If you find yourself explaining your team how to do what they need to do, you might have the wrong people on the bus. Of course, there’s always the possibility that they’re awesome and you’re a control freak, so I’ll let you judge this one for yourself.
Using Off-the-Shelf Software Is A LOT Better than Building Your Own
There are a few things that can -and usually do- go wrong with custom-built software: it costs more than expected, takes longer than expected and it breaks a lot. The same goes for websites. There are awesome platforms for blogs (WordPress), forums (vBulleting), e-commerce (Volusion and Interspire), photo galleries (any of the LightBox galleries), etc. Try to use off-the-shelf solutions as much as you can. They’ll save you headaches and a lot of money.
Leave Empty Space in Your Schedule
Us, human beings, love the feeling of getting things done. If we were supposed to do 10 things today and we only did five, we won’t feel that great. That’s why we should always leave empty space in our schedules. Unexpected things come up: calls, meetings and problems we need to solve. By leaving some extra space for these unexpected tasks, you’ll be able to finish everything you need to do every day. And, if some days you finish everything by 2pm, either assign a few more things to yourself or reward your productivity by taking some time for yourself.